This module concentrates on the fundamental areas of civil law. The foundation for the study of any law subject is an understanding of the 'legal system' in general. After examining the nature and sources of law, the module then proceeds to consider contract, delict, and degree-specific legal contexts.


To examine the fundamental principles of law and the legal framework in Scotland and the UK.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legal systems in the context of Scotland and be able to differentiate civil and criminal law and terminology.

2.  Apply, in response to defined problems, the fundamental principles of the Scots law of obligations.

3.  Apply the main principles in context.

4.  Demonstrate skills of comprehension and application of legal principle.

Indicative Content

1 Legal Systems

The nature of law; the distinction between civil and criminal law;sources of law; the structure of the courts; impact of EU law on Scots law.

2 Contract

Nature and formation; essential features and validity; terms of the contract; breach of contract; extinction of contractual obligations.

3 Delict

Nature of delict; culpa and negligence; strict and vicarious liability; Consumer Protection Act 1987; defences to an action in delict.

4 Employment law and Business Organisations (Business Students and Sports students only)

Nature of employment and contractual relationship; unfair and wrongful dismissal; health and safety in the workplace. Business Organisations and legal framework- Law of Agency, Partnerships and Company law.

5 Employment law and Food Law (Food students only)

Nature of employment and contractual relationship; unfair and wrongful dismissal; health and safety in the workplace. Nature of Food law in UK and EU; registration/approval of food business establishments; labelling.

6 Criminal Law ( Criminology students only)

Principles of Scots criminal law. Requirements for mens rea and actus reus and causation. An introduction to the main features of selected crimes against the person such as homicide and assault (including common law and statutory aggravations). Selected defences to crimes against the person. Exculpating and mitigating factors.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is delivered online to non-law students and is initially delivered to all cohorts through recorded lectures, weekly self-test tutorial quizzes on Blackboard and regular classroom-based drop in sessions with the respective module tutors. An interactive discussion forum on Blackboard further encourages active student participation. From week 8, the module is again delivered online, as above, but in a degree-specific context. The areas of law studied thus vary according to cohort groups. This will allow for a degree of customisation to increase the vocational relevance of the module to each cohort group. Students undertake the Unit 1 assessment, a 'trust and honour' online class test in week 6. The Unit 2 assessment is an online class test, contextualised by cohort. This is undertaken at the end of the module on a ‘trust and honour basis’ in week 13. The feedback exercise for this module in week 7 of the term involves a post-Unit 1 assessment feedback clinic with the module tutor.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Supervised Practical Activity 10
Unsupervised Practical Activity 12
Assessment 40
Independent 114

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.